Kansas Corn and Sorghum Join in Social Networking

Agriculture has found a place within social media. The Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association (KGSPA) join thousands of people discussing agriculture each day.

2009 was a year of change and growth for social media sites. According to Computerworld Magazine, Facebook has more visitors than any other social networking site. Facebook finished 2009 with 112 million visitors and Twitter finished the year with 20 million visitors, up from just 2 million in 2008.

“When we are posting on social media sites, we don’t just talk about grains. We also work to support our customers, like livestock and biofuels, as well as products our farmers rely upon, like the herbicide atrazine. Agriculture is often under attack on social media sites and it’s up to us to share accurate information,” according to Sue Schulte, director of communications for KCGA and KGSPA.

Ag media, associations, farm organizations, agri-businesses, farmers, and consumers are discussing and learning from each other. Tom Tibbits, a farmer from Minneapolis, Kansas, shares his knowledge and experiences through Facebook, Twitter, and his blog.

“Social media is a tool to connect with both farmers and non farmers. We can have conversations our farms and farming practices and reassure people that we are good stewards of the land and natural resources while providing safe food,” says Tibbits.

Tibbits tells farmers to “Talk about your farm. Let your defenses down when asked a hot button topic such as antibiotic use in livestock or biotech crops. People want to learn more about them.” Tibbits’ blog can be found at http://farmertimes.blogspot.com/

“Social media sites are an innovative way to communicate with the world. If farmers don’t tell their story now, activist groups will. People now turn to social media to gain information and form opinions. As farmers, I encourage you to take a little time to create an online presence. This is a business decision—a decision to help protect your livelihood,” says DeEtta Bohling, KCGA and KGSPA communications specialist.

Visit http://www.ksgrains.com for more information on how the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers use social media.

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